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It’s almost back to school and we know you’re dying to get back into a musical routine just as much as we are and we have a few new things this year that we wanted to share with you!
We have some amazing new teachers this year who teach many instruments from piano, guitar, voice to violin, drums, ukulele and basic woodwinds and brass. Teachers teach in students homes or online or a combination of both called Hybrid Lessons. Check them out here!
Hello there! I have been playing piano and singing for over two decades. I am in Level 9 of RCM, I play by ear, compose and study Jazz at the University of Toronto. For my students, music lessons are a way for them to get in touch with themselves.
I want to know what inspires them and how music can help them become the best versions of themselves. I concentrate on technique, theory, and most importantly, making music 'real' by showing them why certain sounds generate different feelings within us.
At the end of the day, music is magical! I'm looking forward to joining you on your musical journey!
Shawn Bennett is an MMus Orchestral Conducting student at the University of Toronto as well as music educator from Newfoundland and Labrador.
Since his earliest pursuits as a vocalist, guitarist, and trombone major in University, he has since learned to play and teach most wind, brass, percussion, and string instruments throughout his 9 years of teaching experience in public, private, individual and group settings.
Shawn believes in empowering students young and old to personalize and participate in the soundtracks of their lives. To him, all the crucial lessons of life can be learned safely and effectively through music, and he loves nothing more than to help his students uncover these lessons for themselves.
Gabe is a multi-instrumentalist teacher and performer from Halifax Nova Scotia. Teaching violin, guitar, piano and drums, he has a wealth of experience in Halifax, Toronto and Montreal.
After studying classical percussion at Dalhousie University, he moved to Toronto to study music at Humber College, receiving his degree in 2013.
Along the way, Gabe has toured and performed with a wide variety of bands and recorded at some of Toronto’s finest studios including Revolution Recording, Glenn Gould Studios and Humber College studios.
Gabe's teaching philosophy is that each student is different, and should be taught in a way that is aligned with their personal values, interests, goals and dreams. Gabe excels at finding what students are passionate about and matching repertoire to their specific needs
Gabe is also fluent in French and offers music lessons to French Immersion students.
A multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, Joel’s musical education began early as the son of a piano teacher. As he advanced, Joel went on to study with other teachers, competing annually in the Kiwanis Music Festival, winning awards and going to the provincial competition. In his teenage years, Joel picked up bass guitar and trumpet, and completed RCM grade 9 piano, earning first class honours with distinction. He also began his teaching career in high school, tutoring younger trumpet students.
As a teacher, Joel draws on his diverse musical background to develop students into well-rounded musicians. Some students may continue to pursue conservatory piano at an advanced level, but a majority of them will develop interest in many different styles of music and even different instruments. Joel believes that playing by ear is just as important as reading music, improvisation is as important as theory, and creativity is as important as technique. Just as one must learn the rules before breaking them, creativity and critical thinking must be encouraged early on, so that they become second-nature. A comprehensive, progressive foundation in piano allows students to succeed wherever their musical journey takes them.
Kelly is a pianist, educator, and actor.
She started playing the piano at five years old and is certified in RCM level 10 piano and up to ARCT theory qualifications. She has been a dedicated piano and beginner vocals teacher since 2015, both in person and online one-on-one and group classes.
Since then, she has taught students of all ages from children to adults with a personalized curriculum to make the arts education applicable to each students' needs and goals. Kelly has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre and has experience performing as a lead actor and musician for the YPT production for "Hana Hashimoto the Sixth Violin" for Thousand Island's Playhouse where the musical production was toured in over 50 schools in Canada.
When she is not teaching, she can be seen performing on stage, commercial, film and TV. As a youth, she regularly volunteered as the lead accompanist in her high school choir and at her local senior home as a pianist and musician.
Kai has had an enriching and engaging musical upbringing working with and learning from many world class musicians, directors, and arts organizations. This provided him with incredible opportunities for personal growth and connection with people. Empowering his students to have such opportunities of their own is his greatest passion in life.
Kai has had the pleasure of working with hundreds of children and amateur musicians as a counsellor at the Canadian Opera Company’s educational programs, performed as a lead in many choirs and various roles in opera companies over the years. In addition, he has taught privately and in a classroom environments over a variety of subjects.
Having such a diverse educational and musical background has allowed Kai develop the flexibility to accommodate the needs and interests of his students in order to set them up for success in the way that works the best for them. By breaking down the vast landscape of music into its simplest components and building tools around them to explore music and the creative process, students become empowered to engage with the world creatively and cultivate their interests and talents with excitement and drive. When Kai is not teaching students, he teaches himself!
Kai enjoys learning languages, coding, gardening, sewing, calligraphy, illustration, and reading.
Resources and Recitals
We are moving with the digital era and have all sorts of qualified subscriptions for our teachers to use with their students and save trees while they’re at it. Teachers and students of Featherstone Music will have exclusive access to the following.
Musicology for their online lessons which features low latency, easy access, full duplex audio and fun interactive features.
Piano Adventures Teach Atlas for access to all books by Faber & Faber digitally with fun games and digital resources for making teaching fun that they can use both in person and online. This helps them pick out appropriate books for their students to work on by testing them out first through this resource.
My Music Staff. Keep track of all of your invoices, receive lesson notes digitally and log on to track your practice! It’s easy and fun to use and saves lots of trees from becoming dictation books.
Recitals! In the past we have had recitals at Bloor St United Church but we want to do better than that. This year, we will be booking event spaces throughout funky spots of downtown Toronto restaurants, bars and art galleries for small and intimate concerts that are TTC accessible, artsy and inspirational for our young artists. This year, we will be holding our Winter Music Recital sometime at the end of November or first week of December before the holiday season. Stay tuned for more details on that!
Studio Policy Update
We are so thankful to all of the families that have chosen us to enhance their children’s musical education and we want to acknowledge that! We are also a business that needs to meet certain criteria to operate smoothly. In order to pay our highly educated teachers a fair living wage we will be raising rates slightly to keep up with the rate of inflation. The teachers will then receive a wage increase that is equal.
Please be reminded of the following:
Thank you again for supporting our small business and local music teachers! If you have any questions or feedback or just want to chat about your child's lessons please feel free to reach out to Rebecca@featherstonemusic.ca or call 416-809-6103 anytime!
Rebecca Featherstone & Teachers